Under the hood: Ask our chatbot to register you

September 30, 2019 David Huml

We have recently started investing our efforts in more webinar content. After our first webinar we decided to change things around within several areas. Actually, we changed almost everything - our webinar provider, the landing page design and the registration process.

We have a lot of great partners with interesting technologies we can present (and even better - use it for our own marketing efforts), so why not combine their powers for setting up our newest webinar? I, responsible for internal marketing automation, had to put all these pieces together. This is the story of how I did that.

With access to several technologies, I decided to set up this webinar using the following platforms:

  1. Eloqua - This platform is my specialty; therefore, its campaign management orchestrates all other platforms.
  2. Zoom - Our newly chosen platform to run the webinar itself. We have a really good experience with Zoom and use it for our internal communication too (pro tip: check Slack integration!!!)
  3. Salesforce - A no-brainer here, just making sure all leads go to our Sales, correctly flagged, correct lead source, etc. We have a running Eloqua-Salesforce integration in place so there is not much work left here.
  4. Drift - This is new. What is Drift you ask? It's a chatbot platform that allows you to have real-time conversations on your website. Or you can implement some easily scriptable bot acting on your behalf.

Eloqua LP

And what a coincidence - conversational marketing was chosen as the topic of the webinar. By using a chatbot we are perfectly aligned with the the topic; we can demonstrate its value and especially show how easy it is to register through a conversation. Think of a traditional way - you are asking someone to fill in a long form... or you can have them naturally registered through the chat.

Setting up our registration process - using Drift

We started by designing a new landing page with a short description on the left and a mobile phone screenshot on the right with an iFramed chatbot landing page. Originally we wanted to keep the page overly simple and leave it to a chatbot to answer questions about the webinar, but after several revisions and received feedback we ended up with a more traditional page which had a description and a speakers section (although less prominent).

In Drift we created a new Playbook (that's how scripts are called inside the platform). Very simple workflow. Crucial is to keep it simple so people don't get lost and go straight to our main point - we ask them if they want to to register for the webinar. This is just a quick question, where we ask for their email address (necessary for the webinar confirmation), nothing else. 

We were debating if we needed to collect multiple data from visitors. Sales always wants as much info as possible but our point was not to end up with a long format. We settled with a compromise: for new leads (or missing info in our system) we had a second touch point linking to another landing page with a traditional form. We actually offered people not only to update their data, but also to review their communication preferences. Conversion on this form was around 10%, which is not bad, but mainly it allowed us to be transparent and demonstrate our responsibility around privacy. 


Once we collected the email address we decided to flag a Drift database field with a string that allowed me to identify the lead back in Eloqua. Here I found a main issue in Drift's playbook workflow: as I would expect with my marketing automation experience, I would like to trigger an integration at this moment (so Eloqua can tell Zoom "hey bro, send this person their webinar confirmation"). Instead of that, Drift handles integration events differently - the conversation needs to be "ended". This can happen either manually, when someone reviews it, or by a step at the end of the conversation. But the question on email address isn't the last step in the script: if someone leaves the landing page before getting to the end, the conversation stays technically opened. Again, someone needs to go to the platform and close it manually. Most of the people got to the end (registration process was triggered), but some got to an infinite wait step and our staff had to intervene. 

Once the integration was triggered, a campaign picks up flagged contacts and sends them to go to Zoom for confirmation. The next single step in the workflow was mentioned earlier: the second touch linking to form to fill in the gaps (btw: setting up Drift / Eloqua integration is super easy - such a pleasant surprise for anyone working with Eloqua).


There were  several minor new issues we discovered on our way towards the webinar.

  • A lot of manual checks and inputs - people sometimes asked questions (e.g. "I inserted wrong email") which we had to answer manually.
  • Eloqua delay - the integration between Drift-Eloqua is immediate, but it can take up to one hour in Eloqua's segment to pick up. 
  • Data priority in Eloqua - in one occasion Drift couldn't overwrite my flagging field because SFDC previously updated this one with another value under higher priority.
  • Zoom doesn't really allow you to customise your emails as we would want.

But overall this was a great experience and many improvements are already shaping, not only in my head (branding, better use of Zoom/Eloqua integration).

Where to follow? Follow our social channels, we regularly give updates on our upcoming webinars and events. 

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About the Author

David Huml

Rocking in Eloqua & Marketo instances since 2012.

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